Russian soldiers bring their weapons from the front line and open fire on people

Russian soldiers remove weapons from combat area; dozens of soldiers have already been tried for mishandling firearms.

Source: Vyorstka, Russian Telegram channel

Details: Since the start of the all-out war in February 2022, at least 42 military personnel in Russia have appeared in court for appropriation, storage, transport and carrying of weapons, ammunition and explosive devices (Articles 222 and 222.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Vyorstka discovered this while studying the basics of all Russian garrison military courts.

Judging by the published verdicts, Russian soldiers bring home firearms found at the front or keep unused cartridges and grenades for themselves. They transport them to military units, hiding them in armored vests, backpacks and sleeping bags, then take them to a secret place, and when they return home on vacation, they take these weapons with them.

At least 18 soldiers who had returned from the war have already been sentenced. Two dozen others are awaiting a court decision.

A soldier was sent to prison for 2.5 years. During the inspection at the Crimean Bridge checkpoint, which he used to return home, 4 hand grenades, 5 bullets and a smoke grenade were found in his backpack. The soldier told investigators he was carrying explosive devices «for his personal safety».

The other servicemen were sentenced to fines of tens of thousands of rubles and suspended sentences. Sometimes weapons have been found during inspections at checkpoints, highway patrol posts and train stations.

For example, during the search of a soldier from Kursk, who was returning home through Crimea, an employee of the State Traffic Safety Inspectorate found a Val rifle, a Makarov pistol and 300 cartridges in his backpack .

In Samara Oblast, employees of the highway patrol service found a Makarov pistol and two loaded magazines in the car of a soldier from Chelyabinsk, in which he was returning from the war.

At a train station in Voronezh Oblast, an F-1 hand grenade was seized from a soldier after having his backpack scanned with an X-ray. Later, he told investigators he wanted to use the grenade to fish.

Those who manage to bring weapons home keep them in their apartments and country houses.

In Reutov (Moscow oblast), two friends returned from the war gave magazines loaded with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and a Dragunov rifle to the owner of the apartment they were renting. She took the ammunition, and a few days later she called the police.

In Bryansk, another soldier took a fragmentation grenade from the front, brought it to the service apartment and put it on a shelf in the hallway. On the same day, he argued with his wife. The police, who arrived on the scene, saw the grenade and called the deminers.

One of the convicts got drunk and started shooting his pistol in a public place. He found a Makarov pistol with cartridges and an RGD-5 grenade under the seat of a combat vehicle that returned to the unit after the battle. He kept the find in the ground, and three weeks after that he dug up a gun, took it with him for a walk, and started shooting in the air near a grocery store. The court assigned him compulsory work.

Several servicemen who took combat ammunition from the front managed to avoid criminal liability: their cases were closed. They convinced the court that they had come to their senses and made amends by giving public lectures in their military units about responsibility for illegal possession of weapons and donating 5-10,000 rubles to help the children.
In August 2022, in Smolensk Oblast, four gunmen, including a contract soldier, attacked Ukrainian refugees at a temporary accommodation point. That same month, in Rostov-on-Don, a military officer shot a taxi driver with a Makarov pistol as they argued over politics.

In December in Petrozavodsk, another soldier killed his wife with a handgun, Vyorstka said.

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